Vermont Human RIghts COuncil Statement of Solidarity with the black lives matter movement
An incredible movement led by young Black people is exploding across the country in response to back-to-back grand jury decisions to not indict the white police officers who killed two black men — Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. In Vermont and across the country, people have taken to the streets to declare that Black Lives Matter (a call to action founded by women of color), committing dramatic acts of civil disobedience and demanding an end to police brutality and white supremacy. 
As human rights organizations, representing struggles ranging from disability rights to labor rights to criminal justice reform, from migrant justice to climate justice, we recognize the struggle for black liberation as central to securing all of our human rights in a country founded upon systemic racism. These unjust decisions are not an aberration. Every 28 hours, a black person in this country is killed by a police officer, security guard, or vigilante.  On an institutional level, most profoundly in the criminal justice system, human rights are violated and families devastated by a clear disregard for black and brown lives — locking up and deporting millions, targeting and harassing communities of color, and responding with lethal brutality. This struggle is exposing a system that has dual standards — one where white people are questioned and arrested, while people of color are being killed with apparent impunity.
The national situation is mirrored here in Vermont. A black person in Burlington is 3.6 times more likely to be arrested than a white person, while the black-to-white ratio of incarcerated people in the state is 12.5 to 1 — making Vermont’s incarcerated population the second most racially unbalanced in the country . Black and brown people in Vermont also face racial profiling in traffic stops and systemic racism in schools . While progress has been made for bias-free policing through the efforts of migrant worker-led Migrant Justice, other Human Rights Council organizations, and sympathetic legislators white supremacy still has powerful weight over this state.
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Last month, a Chittenden County jury found Willy Levitt guilty of simple assault for his participation in a non-violent direct action against the fracked gas pipeline.
Read this letter from Willy about his experience and his plans to appeal the jury's decision.
We know that Willy is innocent, and that the state and Vermont Gas fabricated a story and pressed trumped-up charges to try to silence the growing movement against new fossil fuel infrastructure. But we will not let politically charged court cases scare us!
Please donate to Willy's legal fund here, so we can appeal the case, keep him out of jail, and help defray any court costs or fines
RISING TIDE FEATURED ON VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO
Rising Tide's community organizing and direct action to stop the fracked gas pipeline and build a movement for Climate Justice were featured on VPR, as one of the top news stories of 2014.
Thanks to our allies from Just Power, 350VT and Conservation Law Foundation for the supportive words and solidarity in this piece.
"The way I would characterize it is if you needed plumbing done on your house, you'd call a plumber. If you're going to do some direct action, you call Rising Tide."
-Jane Palmer, Monkton Landowner and
Listen to the audio on VPR here
If you'd like to support this work, please considering making a contribution by clicking the donate button below:
Are you a Vermont Gas Ratepayer?
Most Vermont Gas ratepayers don't even realize they are paying for the fracked gas pipeline because it has never has been itemized on their bills. In the last few days word came out that the estimated cost of the pipeline has gone up by 40% to $121.6 M. Sign here to tell the Public Service Board that they need to re-evaluate the permits in light of the new figures!
Sign the petition
Let Governor Shumlin know Vermonters everywhere say NO to this fracked gas pipeline by signing this petition!!
Sign the Pledge of Resistance
We invite you to pledge, if necessary, to join others in our community, and engage in acts of resistance including civil disobedience and direct action to stop the fracked gas pipeline proposed in Chittenden & Addison Counties.
Click here to read all of the most recent news!
Rising Tide Vermont Turns Up The Heat In Climate Change Fight
by Taylor Dobbs, December 31, 2014. Source: VPR News
When I met Sara Mehalick in late May, she had a bike lock around her neck.
She'd chained herself to the front door of the Vermont Gas Systems headquarters building in South Burlington.
"I'm here today in defense of a livable planet and because the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure like the proposed fracked gas pipeline is really the exact opposite direction that we need to be going," she said at the time.
Read more here...
Activists organize against pipeline decision
by Erin Mansifeld, Rutland Herald
October 15, 2014
On the heels of a Public Service Board decision not to re-open the case approving a natural gas pipeline, activist groups have announced an Oct. 27 protest on the State House lawn.
Rising Tide Vermont, 350 Vermont and two other groups are organizing the event, according to a statement, and the Rutland Area Climate Coalition will help train a group to send up to Montpelier.
Read more here...
January 8th. 10am. Statehouse, Montpelier. Be there.
When it comes to our healthcare system, workers' rights, the budget, a healthy environment, or building a fracked gas pipeline, Shumlin and the powers that be seem to think they have the right to let the 1% make decisions that affect all of us and leave the will of the people behind.
But we are organized. We believe in each other and we care about each other and on January 8th we're showing VT what solidarity looks like.
Hundreds of people from across the state will fill the halls of the Vermont statehouse, demanding our elected and appointed officials do the right thing and follow through with their mandate to build a healthcare system which recognizes healthcare as a public good and a human right.
Join us as we rally and take action to defend healthy communities with our allies in the Vermont Human Rights Council on January 8th at the Statehouse in Montpelier.
Click here for more info